11 April 2022 1:47 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday repeated that the Central Government ought to take a humanitarian approach with respect to a 62-year old man, who has been detained in a foreigners detention camp for over 7 years, as he could not be deported to Pakistan after the country refused to acknowledge him as its national. "7 years he has been in detention. What will you do ultimately? You must...
The Supreme Court on Monday repeated that the Central Government ought to take a humanitarian approach with respect to a 62-year old man, who has been detained in a foreigners detention camp for over 7 years, as he could not be deported to Pakistan after the country refused to acknowledge him as its national.
"7 years he has been in detention. What will you do ultimately? You must also take a humanitarian approach," the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant told Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj.
On the last occasion, Justice Chandrachud had asked, "The question is, how long will you keep him?" to which the ASG had submitted that discussions were going on at the highest level.
On February 28, the Court had asked the Centre if it could consider allowing him to apply for Indian citizenship, having regard to the fact that he has lived most of his life in India and that all his three children are Indian citizens. The bench had also noted that he has served the 3-year sentence imposed under the Foreigners Act and has been lodged in a detention camp in Narela in NCR since 2015 awaiting deportation to Pakistan.
Today, ASG KM Nataraj, while referring to the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, submitted that since the man was an illegal migrant, he would not be eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship under Section 5 and 6 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.
It was stated in the affidavit that the man was an illegal migrant who had been detained in detention center as per law and for want of confirmation of nationality status on part of the Pakistan authorities and he could not be released from the detention center unless he was deported to Pakistan.
"What happens if Pakistan Government does not take him?", asked Justice Chandrachud.
"Either he will have to apply for citizenship. But now we can't allow Pakistani to get citizenship. We can't provide shelter to Pakistanis",the ASG said. When the bench asked about possibility of grant of bail, the ASG said that the man was not under imprisonment and is in detention pending his deportation. "It's not custody in jail or anything, he's in detention awaiting deportation," replied ASG.
"Neither he has been deported nor retained but he has been detained. Detention cannot go on continuously," remarked Justice Kant.
"He has been in detention for 7 years. What will you do ultimately? You must also take a humanitarian approach. His children are here and the Habeas Corpus petition is by the daughter. You must also assess the threat perception in cases like this. 62 years old man, married here and have kids here," Justice Chandrachud added.
The judge while adjourning the matter told the ASG, "Forget the fact that you are appearing as ASG. Tell us how we resolve the problems on humanitarian basis in cases where there is no threat perception. This is not something which we have dealt with earlier."
Case Title: Ana Parveen & Anr. v. UOI & Ors| Writ Petition(Criminal) No(s).43/2022
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